Week 3: Standards Alignment
EDU650: Teaching Learning and Leading in the 21st Century
Standards are put into place to ensure everyone is working on the same goal. Aligning standards within my instruction is crucial to the development of the learners within my classroom. Standards help to ensure the lessons that are being prepared consist of educational developmental goals that I want to see the students reach. The steps that are taken and working together within the school to provide the students with exceptional learning times is the most important outcome of learning and way to ensure standards are aligned.
Aligning Standards to Instruction
Steps for Alignment
During instructional time is when and where the instructor will focus on how the students are understanding what is being taught. The first step for aligning standards to instruction is to know what I want the students to know after my instruction time is complete. Newman (2019) stated, “Teachers should begin developing lesson plans by first identifying what students should understand after or at the completion of a lesson or unit” (Newman, 2019, Ch. 7.1). Knowing what the student should learn is the only way to create lessons to achieve this goal. The next step is then to choose and create activities to make sure the students have the understanding they will need after the lesson is complete. While the students are completing the activities I will be observing them to see if they are understanding what the concepts are. Finally, I will complete my assessments to see if there any further areas the student needs help in. The importance of maintaining alignment among standards is to ensure my lessons or activities are focusing on what I hope the students will learn. This alignment continues to ensure my learning objective and the instructional plan includes activities and lessons to help support the students learning. Newman (2019) also stated that “Teachers must also create challenging lessons that help students grow to develop 21st-century skills” (Newman, 2019, Ch.7.2). Through assessments, teachers can then assess them to see what lessons should be created next to continue the process. It is important that alignments exist between standards, assessments, and instructional plans to ensure the learners are continuing to grow and retain knowledge.
NEU’s Group System
NEU’s group system of Keeping it Practical assists standard alignment because it helps me to make sure that I am upholding the standards and ensuring the students are learning and retaining the skills that are being taught. Lopez (2013) stated that “Aligning standards provide an objective framework that can guide our path” (Lopez, 2013, para. 5). Standards help us to stay focused on what our objective is. As teachers, our objective is to ensure that the students are receiving adequate lessons to help them reach their potential. Keeping its practical system is unique because it can help me to set a path so that I can have a continuous system to observe, assess, and plan goals to fit each student’s needs.
Collaboration within any type of organization is key to helping it run smoothly and to uphold that companies standard. Without the ability to collaborate standards cannot be aligned. “Collaboration among teachers is a force that positively influences the whole school community” (Gregorio Mora-Ruano et al., 2013, para. 2). Collaboration within teachers is key to helping the students to have a type of continuity of care. Without this form of collaboration, the school as a whole cannot function.
Pacing versus Alignment
Pacing focuses on planning instructional times that will make sure the students are receiving the same type of instructions throughout the school. Team members are given an outline of what is being taught and when it is being taught. While this is true about pacing, alignment does not focus on a timeframe, instead, it focuses on what we plan to teach them so that they are learning the standards. It is important to know the difference because it can help to point out if the students are actually retaining the information instead of focusing on the accuracy of the chart of pacing.
Standard alignment is important to me being a teacher because it helps me to ensure that I know what I plan to teach my students, how they are retaining the information, and then what I need to help them if they are struggling in a particular lesson or subject. Working together with my fellow teachers can help to ensure that every team member stays aligned with what our goal will be.
Julio Gregorio Mora-Ruano, Jörg-Henrik Heine, & Markus Gebhardt. (2019). Does teacher collaboration improve student achievement? Analysis of the German PISA 2012 Sample. Frontiers in Education. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.3389/feduc.2019.00085
Lopez, D. (2013). No Excuses University: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
Newman, R. (2019). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu